Civilization: Beyond Earth – My Game of the Year

My Game of the Year for 2014 is...
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The past year was full of disappointing games. Almost every game I played in 2014 was a let down. But there was one game that was less of a disappointment than any other game I played all year. Civilization: Beyond Earth. It had an excellent user interface, solid gameplay, and challenging AI. 

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The U.I.

The user interface was very well-designed. In spite of the complexities of the game, the UI made it easy to find what you were looking for. It kept the screen from being too cluttered, unless you wanted it to be. There were some small elements that you were able to add or subtract from the UI in order to show more or less information, based on how you prefer to play the game. In a game as involved as a Civilization title, Firaxis did well with keeping it from being too complex.

The Gameplay

It starts off seemingly like any other Civilization game, most comparably Civ 5. You choose your civilization, your spacecraft, your supplies, and your focus for starting citizens. Each choice creates a different start, so there are a variety of ways to start the game.

Then you launch to a world of your choosing, or a random world. Some have more alien life and some have less. This also adds to depth of play. Aliens are similar to barbarians, only they seem to spawn more frequently. Then you get to the newest systems, which make it stand apart from other Civilization games: non-linear tech web, affinities, and the orbital layer. These three game mechanics make it worth playing.

Challenging A.I.

Difficult enemies are the norm in 4X strategy games. Civilization: Beyond Earth had a vast array of enemies that you could encounter. Each type of enemy had different tactics. Some might try to thwart you; others might try to team up with you. 

On top of the regular war-hungry or peaceful enemies, you have the alien life. Depending on what you do towards the alien life, you may incur their wrath as well, which can be a near-insurmountable force, even in later levels. Or it can be easy to get around them and take out who you want.

Regardless of whether or not you agree with me, Civilization: Beyond Earth is my game of the year for 2014 for the reasons above and more. What was your GOTY for 2014?

Civilization: Beyond Earth – My Game of the Year
My Game of the Year for 2014 is...

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Zach Long
I have two goals in life. 1)Publish a novel and 2) write a questline in a core Elder Scrolls game. Until then, I spend my 9-5 performing IT support. The rest of my time is spent: playing games, going on hikes with my Wife and our Corgi, or planning D&D sessions that will never happen.